Watch: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sings Watan, the Urdu version of UAE National Anthem

This is the first time Ishy Biladi has been translated into another language from Arabic

By Mazhar Farooqui

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Published: Fri 3 Dec 2021, 12:28 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Feb 2023, 4:42 PM

Renowned Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has come up with an Urdu version of the UAE National Anthem to coincide with the country’s golden jubilee celebrations.

The song, titled ‘Watan’, was officially released on the UAE’s 50th National Day on December 2, and presented by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to the UAE Embassy in Pakistan.

This is the first time when the UAE National Anthem, Ishy Biladi has been translated into another language from Arabic.

A presentation of the Consulate General of Pakistan in Dubai, the nearly seven-minute long music video shows Rahat Fateh Ali Khan rendering the song in his inimitable stye, alongside stunning visuals showcasing UAE’s culture and heritage and its incredible growth and success.

Producer Sadia Abbasi, a Dubai-based Pakistani journalist, said Watan is a tribute to the UAE from the various nationalities living in the country, particularly those from South Asia.

“UAE’s population is largely made up of Urdu and Hindi speaking expatriates from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Their children sing the UAE National Anthem in Arabic, now they listen to it in their own language too,” said Abbasi.

“The music video is a presentation of the Pakistan Consulate of Dubai but it resonates with all Urdu and Hindi speaking people who call this beautiful country their home,” added Abbasi.

She said they chose Rahat Fateh Ali Khan to perform the song because of his overwhelming popularity in the UAE. “He has amassed a legion of fans from both India and Pakistanis and is also popular among Emiratis,” she said.

Watan has been directed by Pakistan consulate officer Muhammad Arsalan Saitti.

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